More than a dozen reported dead after Syrian protests

Thursday, March 24, 2011

More than a dozen people have been reported dead in the Syrian city of Deraa after police and security forces fired on protesters.

Three separate incidents were reported. Overnight on Wednesday, six people were killed at the Omari mosque, a location where many protests have taken place. At funerals and marches later that day, at least ten more people were killed. Several dozen people are also reported to have been injured; one witness said that "bodies fell in the streets."

These fatalities come in addition to at least six deaths that have been previously reported since the protests began.

According to a Syrian activist exiled in the United States, Mohammed al-Abdullah, "[t]he government promised it would consider its citizen's demands, and then it decided to attack them. These were fully prepared and full-scale attacks."

The government defended its actions at the Omari Mosque, saying that "armed gangs" operated out of the site, and that there were weapons stored within.